LCUSD Hires New Executive Director of Special Education

Photo by Wes Woods II / OUTLOOK La Cañada Unified School District Superintendent Wendy Sinnette shares a smile with Derek Ihori, newly named executive director of special education and psychological services, at a May 2 special LCUSD Governing Board meeting.
Photo by Wes Woods II / OUTLOOK
La Cañada Unified School District Superintendent Wendy Sinnette shares a smile with Derek Ihori, newly named executive director of special education and psychological services, at a May 2 special LCUSD Governing Board meeting.

In a unanimous vote, the La Cañada Unified School District Governing Board named a new executive director of special education and psychological services during a special meeting last week.
“I’m really excited for this opportunity and I want to thank you,” Derek Ihori told the board after he was voted in last Thursday. Ihori’s salary will be $151,080, said Debra Cradduck, executive director of personnel services.
Ihori replaces Tamara Jackson, who is set to retire on June 30. Jackson has been with the LCUSD since 2003, always as special education director, she said in a previous statement.
District Superintendent Wendy Sinnette said Ihori, who has been the director of pupil services for the Las Virgenes Unified School District, was selected out of a strong candidate pool. He oversees 120 special education teachers and specialists for Las Virgenes. Continue reading “LCUSD Hires New Executive Director of Special Education”

STEAM Night Energized by Robotics, Lego Fun

La Cañada Flintridge resident Brandon Cipes, his son Everett and STEM World’s Joe Huprich listen to LCHS student Nathan Yun talk about his robot. Yun belongs to the Golden Gears robotics team.
Photo by Wes Woods II / OUTLOOK
La Cañada Flintridge resident Brandon Cipes, his son Everett and STEM World’s Joe Huprich listen to LCHS student Nathan Yun talk about his robot. Yun belongs to the Golden Gears robotics team.

Robotics took over the final STEAM night of the La Cañada Unified School District’s academic year.
A district-sponsored event at Palm Crest Elementary on Monday featured hands-on activities with robotics at two of several stations. STEAM, the educational concept that stands for science, technology, engineering, arts and math, is aimed at giving students the tools to succeed in all of those disciplines, and some of the stations showed how they sometimes overlap.
“We’re super big on recruiting or giving a lot of younger kids opportunities in robotics,” said Nathan Yun, a 16-year-old junior at La Cañada High School, who is on the Golden Gears 9881 robotics team made up of LCHS students.
His Golden Gears teammate Ethan Cohen added that the squad, which recently competed in Houston in an event that included two other LCHS robotics teams, composed almost entirely of juniors with a few sophomores and seniors, and is looking for new blood. Continue reading “STEAM Night Energized by Robotics, Lego Fun”

LCE Students Learn Mindfulness Techniques

Photos by Wes Woods II / OUTLOOK  Instructor Beth Lynch leads La Cañada Unified School District students in learning about mindfulness at La Cañada Elementary School.
Photos by Wes Woods II / OUTLOOK
Instructor Beth Lynch leads La Cañada Unified School District students in learning about mindfulness at La Cañada Elementary School.

Peter Wilkinson, a 12-year-old in 6th grade at La Cañada Elementary School, said he thought the topic of mindfulness “sounded kind of boring” but changed his mind after going through a one-hour class that featured exercises, sounds and even chocolate.
“I play piano and whenever I play a song, if I play it too many times my mind kind of wanders,” Wilkinson said after the hour class. “I might try to use [mindfulness techniques] to focus more.” Continue reading “LCE Students Learn Mindfulness Techniques”

News of Notre Dame Fire Stuns LCHS Students Who Sang There

Photo courtesy Jennifer Fox La Cañada Choral Artists, an ensemble from La Cañada High School, sang inside the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris over spring break, just 10 days before a devastating fire broke out at the 856-year-old monument on Monday. Although it appears the church’s structure has been saved, the fire destroyed the medieval spire and roof.
Photo courtesy Jennifer Fox
La Cañada Choral Artists, an ensemble from La Cañada High School, sang inside the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris over spring break, just 10 days before a devastating fire broke out at the 856-year-old monument on Monday. Although it appears the church’s structure has been saved, the fire destroyed the medieval spire and roof.

As a devastating fire consumed large parts of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris this week, memories of performing there were still fresh for the La Cañada Choral Artists group.
The ensemble from La Cañada High School performed a matinee concert at the iconic church on April 5. Ten days later, a fire ravaged the cathedral’s spire — which collapsed — and roof, and was reportedly extinguished in 12 hours.
On Monday, the Choral Artists and their instructor were in disbelief over what happened to the landmark where they had just sung. Continue reading “News of Notre Dame Fire Stuns LCHS Students Who Sang There”

Crash Simulation Makes Impact on LCHS Students

Photo by Wes Woods II / OUTLOOK La Cañada High School student Nicole Reynolds portrays a victim of a drunk driver in the recent Every 15 Minutes program, which uses live dramatizations to teach kids the dangers of drinking and driving.
Photo by Wes Woods II / OUTLOOK
La Cañada High School student Nicole Reynolds portrays a victim of a drunk driver in the recent Every 15 Minutes program, which uses live dramatizations to teach kids the dangers of drinking and driving.

The scene — the aftermath of a crash involving a white Dodge Charger and a black Jeep Cherokee — was only a simulation, but it all looked eerily real.
One teenager was sprawled on the ground and others slumped in their smashed vehicles on Oak Grove Drive in front of La Cañada High School, their faces and bodies smeared with fake blood.
Officials from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and Fire Department, the California Highway Patrol and the county coroner’s office helped move the injured — portrayed by LCHS students — to safety and arrest an allegedly drunk driver. Continue reading “Crash Simulation Makes Impact on LCHS Students”

Governing Board OKs a 40-Meter Pool at High School

Courtesy La Cañada Unified School District  A 40-meter swimming pool will be built on the south side of the south gym at La Cañada High School. Some attendees at a school board meeting cited their preference for a bigger pool.
Courtesy La Cañada Unified School District
A 40-meter swimming pool will be built on the south side of the south gym at La Cañada High School. Some attendees at a school board meeting cited their preference for a bigger pool.

A 40-meter-long pool has been unanimously approved for La Cañada High School, where it will be installed on the south side of the south gym.
The La Cañada Unified School District Governing Board made its decision despite calls from some who attended its meeting Tuesday to build a bigger pool.
“This community is a good swimming community and it deserves to have a 50-meter pool for the next 50 years,” said resident David Haxton. He gave the board a sheet containing nearly 30 emails from residents and others who did not state their hometown. His comments drew applause from other attendees. Continue reading “Governing Board OKs a 40-Meter Pool at High School”

Young Filmmakers Learn From Pros at LCHS

Photos by Wes Woods II / OUTLOOK Diego Osorio-Lowery, Sam Hernandez and Gage Johnson are the founding members of the Young Filmmakers Association at La Cañada High School. Hernandez is the president, Osorio-Lowery is the vice president and Johnson is the treasurer.
Photos by Wes Woods II / OUTLOOK
Diego Osorio-Lowery, Sam Hernandez and Gage Johnson are the founding members of the Young Filmmakers Association at La Cañada High School. Hernandez is the president, Osorio-Lowery is the vice president and Johnson is the treasurer.

Entertainment professionals Rachel Ramras, Larry Dorf and Hugh Davidson, known for comedy shows such as “Robot Chicken,” “Mike Tyson Mysteries” and “Nobodies,” recently gave some La Cañada High School students real-life advice on navigating the industry.
The latest program of the Young Filmmakers Association featured the three professionals discussing their various shows to a group of about 15 students.
Davidson told the youths that while writing for “Robot Chicken,” he realized that writing was more satisfying than being an actor.
“In acting, you have to wait for a lot of people to say yes,” Davidson said. “It’s a powerless position. Even for the most famous ones, they still have to wait for someone to call them. With writing, you can just do it. You’re in the young filmmakers club; you’re already on your way. You can make stuff on your own.”
Davidson, who worked at Warner Bros. animation, wrote for the animated sitcom “The Looney Tunes Show” with Ramras and Dorf that ran from 2011-14. Continue reading “Young Filmmakers Learn From Pros at LCHS”

Holocaust Survivors’ Plea to Students: Remember Our Stories

Photo courtesy of Jarrett Gold Gal Kessler Rohs, an LCHS parent and education director for Temple Beth David Religious School, Holocaust survivor Trudie Strobel, LCHS 7/8 Principal Jarrett Gold and Holocaust survivor Leon Prochnik spoke at an LCHS program about Holocaust trauma and tragedy.
Photo courtesy of Jarrett Gold
Gal Kessler Rohs, an LCHS parent and education director for Temple Beth David Religious School, Holocaust survivor Trudie Strobel, LCHS 7/8 Principal Jarrett Gold and Holocaust survivor Leon Prochnik spoke at an LCHS program about Holocaust trauma and tragedy.

Pleading with their audience not to forget the horrors inflicted by Nazis during the World War II era, two Holocaust survivors recently shared their stories with about 400 people at the La Cañada High School Auditorium, including LCHS 7/8 students.
La Crescenta resident Leon Prochnik shed tears frequently as he recalled how his family, which he said owned the second-largest chocolate factory in Poland, escaped from its homeland to safety in Lithuania, then to Japan and Canada.
“It was a life-and-death drama,” Prochnik said. “I didn’t know the murder part, because that’s not what my parents talked to me about. My sister knew there was a great danger of that” — of the dangers of Jews being killed at the hands of the Nazis. Continue reading “Holocaust Survivors’ Plea to Students: Remember Our Stories”

Investigation Into LCHS Fan Behavior Concludes, Discipline Issued

The La Cañada High School administration on Tuesday said it has concluded its investigation into language and behavior by some student fans at an LCHS basketball game on Feb. 23, and determined that frequent profanity and “a slur” were used at the game. Discipline has been issued, officials said.
The administration conducted an “extensive investigation” that included interviews with more than 35 witnesses, Principal Jim Cartnal said in an emailed statement to LCHS 9-12 parents. Continue reading “Investigation Into LCHS Fan Behavior Concludes, Discipline Issued”